Adventures and misadventures of the first Community of Practice
September began with lots of excitement because we officially started our first international CoP – Community of Practice – thanks to the support and funding of Family. It will be a two-year journey that we hope will enrich the daily work of all the organisations participating in it and of course, the lives of the children and their families that we work with.
After receiving a great response to our invitation, six organisations were selected to be part of the Family-JUCONI CoP. Two people from each of the following organisations will participate: Butterflies of India, Challenging Heights of Ghana, ChildLinK of Guyana, Hope Village Society of Egypt, Undugu Society of Kenya, and Uyisenga Ni Imanzi of Rwanda.
Etienne Wenger-Trayner, says that “communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” The members share a common passion about changing the lives of children around the world who do not grow-up in safe, caring families. The different perspectives that each organisation will bring to the Community will improve each other’s work and the way in which we approach our cases.
Shortly after the excitement of the first days, we realised we had lots of things to organise: flights, meals, hotel rooms, transfers – and the list goes on! As a Mexican national I am used to standing in long queues in different Embassies, with thousands (at least that´s what it feels like!) of forms to fill-in and many additional documents to send before finally getting the precious Visa stamp in my passport. Until now though, I had never realised how hard is to get into Mexico! Well, newsflash to me.
It is, it really is! I have sent different versions of the invitation letters, called different Embassies several times over, sent copies of different documents by courier to different parts and meanwhile our courageous participants have had to be patient and resourceful in their solutions and to make many visits to the Mexican consul. It has been what I have called the “Revenge of Moctezuma: Visa Edition”. Despite these difficulties, it seems we are finally (!) close to achieving visas for all participants (fingers crossed!) and we are delighted that in a few weeks we will be welcoming the CoP participants to Mexico. We really appreciate everyone´s interest in the Project and hope it lives up to expectations!
Welcome to Mexico and JUCONI! Let’s begin this amazing journey. ¡Bienvenidos!